Battleship, Peter Berg, 131 mins (12A)
Delicacy, David & Stéphane Foenkinos, 108 mins (12A)

Bittersweet Tautou is a blessed relief after an earful of slimy green alien

For all the martial mayhem promised by its name, and by the painting on the box, I remember the game of Battleship as being a quiet, nerdy one, involving pencils, graph paper and frowning concentration.

The film, which is supposedly based on the game, doesn't have quite the same characteristics. A cross between Independence Day and Pearl Harbor, it's a trashy glorification of all things mechanical, especially things that make other things explode. It's also one of the loudest films you'll ever see. Moments of sombre reflection are married to AC/DC's greatest hits at full volume, while the action sequences are so ear-bleeding that even an electromagnetic signal zipping through the emptiness of outer space sounds as if someone's stuck a vacuum-cleaner in your ear.

It's this signal that attracts a squadron of alien spacecraft to our planet, but, unlike most extra-terrestrial invaders, they don't hover over the White House or crash land in the desert: they splash down in the sea off the coast of Hawaii. And then, instead of taking to the skies again, their ships hop through the ocean like gigantic, heavily armed porpoises. Unfortunately for them, it so happens that the world's navies have gathered nearby for a bridge-building exercise, which means that Taylor Kitsch (star of the ill-fated John Carter), Rihanna and Liam Neeson are ready to kick some slimy green butt.

Battleship is set in a universe where technologically superior aliens can be defeated by some cool stunt-driving and a right-hook to the jaw, and where the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians are justified if they inspire the hero to ask his sexy blonde girlfriend's dad for her hand in marriage. But I admit I quite admired its bludgeoning energy and its hearty, unapologetic embrace of every post-Top Gun cliché. With a plot that makes reasonable sense, and a laugh-at/ laugh-with ratio of about 50:50, Battleship is cleverer and funnier than most blockbusters of its decibel level. It also allows Japanese seamen as well as Americans to be the heroes, while presenting the monsters as being far less bloodthirsty than the humans they're up against. If you really have to make a noisy, cheesy, militaristic alien invasion movie, then this is how it should be done.

All the same, it's a relief to sample the more refined flavours of Delicacy, a bittersweet Parisian comedy drama starring Audrey Tautou. Near the beginning of the film, her perfect husband is killed in a traffic accident, a very real danger for happy couples in the movies these days, if One Day and The Adopted are anything to go by.

Tautou's all-consuming grief is acutely observed and forcefully played, but eventually she begins her slow recovery. Two of the men in her office are particularly keen to help: her handsome boss (Bruno Todeschini), who doesn't see his marriage as any obstacle to their future together, and a lumbering Swedish subordinate (François Damiens) who wears so much beige that half of his co-workers haven't even noticed him.

Tautou is now so skinny that you keep expecting her to slip down a crack in the pavement, and the film as a whole doesn't have much more meat on it, in plot terms, but Delicacy serves up lots of tasty morsels to nibble on: the elegant ways in which it skips from day to day and year to year; hints dropped about the secret lives of its supporting characters; dresses that make the female staff of Mad Men look as if they've slouched in on Casual Friday.

Despite being underpinned by gnawing sadness, it's really a twinkly, playful Doris Day office comedy, if one that never explains what the characters actually do in their office.

Film choice

Sean Penn goes Goth and hunts Nazis in Paolo Sorrentino's sublimely oddball road movie This Must be the Place. Meanwhile, the first Argentine Film Festival comes to London's Ritzy, (Wed to Sun). Ricardo Darin – from Carancho and The Secret In Their Eyes – stars in the festival opener Chinese Take-Away (argentinefilmfestival.com).

Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
artVoted for by the public, artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried